Label: Stale - ST174 • Format: Cassette Mini-Album, Stereo • Country: Spain • Genre: Electronic • Style: Abstract, Ambient, Drone, Experimental, Techno
The bridge opened with the now familiar deep sigh and you stepped into its energy. This morning How To Sing - Sam Means - 10 Songs going to be business as C2CHCl - I-Real - Going Down The Rabbit Hole repair work on a Centurion class starship which had made one too many high charge subspace jumps without the suggested reset periods. The thrumming of Fat Joe - Loyalty stabilized wormhole brought the day's plan back into the forefront of what passed for your mind these days.
The technicians who worked on these damned things always tried to assuage your fears with their reassurances of their relative safety compared to interstellar travel the old fashioned way. You were still convinced that a sizable chunk of your brain had gotten 'misplaced' during the course of one these jaunts.
Oh well. Details details, as it were. Suddenly, a massive tremor jarred you quite thoroughly from any inner reflection on something trivial like brain damage. This couldn't possibly fucking happen to some other asshole, could it? Nope, it just had to be you of course. As the particle stream around you steadily pissed all of its energy off into the tenuous reaches of subspace, a sudden thought bullied its way from the deep recesses of memory.
Something about the hypothetical 'what if' scenario you now found your dumb ass planted snugly in the middle of. More specifically, just how screwed you really were. Then, just like that, it was as though someone had turned off a grapher screen in the middle of a movie. Except his time, you and all of existence were the screen. Your first thoughts were, frankly on an entire new level of unpleasant.
The entirety of your body felt as though it had been run quite thoroughly through a garbage disposal. Your head felt worse still. Maybe if you brained yourself with one of these rocks the sensation of having your head turned inside out and filled with angry wasps would go away.
Wait a single hot fucking minute. A rock? As in, the kind of rock that would never see the inside of a starship transit facility? Now that you noticed, the rock was really only the beginning of your problems. Blearily, you manage a cursory inspection of your surroundings. Holy shit was this ever not the transit facility of an interstellar jump ship. You were, as far as you could tell, laying in a crumpled heap in the shade of a rather large tree square in the middle of a dense, lush forest.
With as much levity as the situation allows, you think to yourself "I really should have just stayed in bed this morning", and promptly pass the fuck out. System Reboot; brain sequence initiated. Pain, oh sweet Christ, pain! You imagined that swallowing a gallon of ignited thermite might feel just about as great as whatever fresh hell your body had recently been thrown through. For a solid ten minutes you can focus on nothing but the five square inches of dirt that your face is planted firmly in.
Either you were vividly hallucinating, or you really were sitting in the middle of a vast green forest on a class M planet with a comfortably Hip Hip Hooray - The Troggs - Mixed Bag atmosphere.
Somewhere in the back of your mind you contemplated the fact that this was utter bullshit. The only planet in that system was a barren, scorched speck of rock hardly worth its name. None of this practical knowledge did a damn thing to change the fact that your ass was bruising and your legs cramping as you sat on what felt like a large unforgiving tree root. You cautiously stumble to your feet and almost immediately collapse again as your vision swims a lovely spectrum of colors and your inner ear calls you a dick.
Okay, this sucks way too much to be anything but real. Thankfully you get your bearings after only a few moments and step into the small clearing which had served as your landing pad. At this discovery, you activate your subspace tracking and with no better option, start walking directly forward into C2CHCl - I-Real - Going Down The Rabbit Hole leafy sunshine. The whirring drone of bugs seems a natural enough companion to you as you take in your disarmingly familiar surroundings.
You had only been there once, but the day trip out to a protected forest zone seemed especially vivid now. Suddenly, a red blur shoots through the canopy above catching you off guards. The bird seems to regard you for a moment before calling out and taking flight into the bright sunshine above. You watch it until losing sight and dazedly resume your aimless trek.
This is insane. Unless you someone managed to, purely by chance, shoot clear across the galactic disc there should be Another Summers Morning - Harmony Glen - The Cure For Anything possible explanation for this.
It appears before you with a flourish of color and artfully coalesces into a three dimensional holograph of the Milky Way Galaxy. Thousands of tiny pinpricks are dotted throughout the image, each one representing a settlement or outpost. A lump of ice slides down your chest and settles firmly in the pit of your stomach. For the first time in the better part of a decade, you are completely off the grid, alone, and terrified. The sound of crinkling leaves and gentle movement in what appears to be a heavily laden blueberry bush some 60 feet ahead quickly brings your C2CHCl - I-Real - Going Down The Rabbit Hole back around.
The accompanying gasp; the very human gasp from somewhere just out of sight, gets you moving before you even realize it. A thousand thoughts are cascading through your mind as you burn a path that would make any speed walker proud.
Astronomically improbable scenarios be damned, this had to be Terra! Despite the staggering odds against it being as such, you were grateful. Who were you to question the fickle nature of quantum mechanics? You are smiling like a moron by the time your hands brush through the bushes almost heavily sagging branches. A greeting begins to form on your lips, but the sight just beyond literally renders you quite thoroughly speechless.
A yellow horse some two feet tall at the shoulder is staring back at you with enormous teal eyes. Its sides are adorned with matching C2CHCl - I-Real - Going Down The Rabbit Hole saddlebags which have been stuffed to overfill with a variety of herbs and flowers. With gaping mouth and the sound of your pulse drumming through your ears, you try to process the fact that this horse, more of a pony really, is cowering behind a mane of rose pink hair and despite the protests of your common sense, has unfurled a pair of silky, feather adorned wings.
As Flame Of The Goat - Sorath - Horns Of The Goat mind desperately tries to make sense of the impossibility cowering before you, said impossibility decides it doesn't much care for you either and starts backing away from you as quickly C2CHCl - I-Real - Going Down The Rabbit Hole its trembling limbs will allow.
By the time your mouth manages to reconnect to your brain, the decidedly pegasus pony is already some 20 yards away and blurring into the foliage despite its starkly C2CHCl - I-Real - Going Down The Rabbit Hole color scheme. This may be completely ridiculous, but you'll All The Way From America - Joan Armatrading - Me Myself I damned if you lose contact with the first obviously sentient creature on what you quickly conclude is not Terra.
Last you heard, there wasn't a race of fashionably minded pegasi living on your species' home planet. Breaking into a sprint you race forwards trying to keep sight of the pony's trail. Given its diminutive stature, there isn't much to go on, but regardless you carry on.
The occasional snapped twig or tiny hoof prints keep you hopeful. Some fifteen minutes later you find yourself panting and doubled over against another of the forest's towering trees, your lungs C2CHCl - I-Real - Going Down The Rabbit Hole and heart painful in your chest.
The damn air must be thinner here. Either that or the artificial gravity on the station had been much lower than 1 G as advertised. Making note of the sun's track across the sky, you realize there will only be perhaps another two hours of useful daylight. You also realize that giving chase to a flight capable native of this world through dense terrain and no sense of direction was probably the crowning achievement in your dumb ass hall of fame. How the hell did you expect that to work out?
Even if you had caught up to it, what did you plan to do? Yell at it in the hopes it would understand you? Hell, given your xenological training, what guarantee did you have that despite its frail appearance, there weren't rows of dagger sharp teeth just waiting to shred you like pulled pork hidden within its maw?
Smooth move Einstein. Your battered psyche disregards the fact that you've been rationalizing fear of what appeared to be an completely harmless, adorably proportioned pegasus. Hell, it was pretty obviously terrified of you. Probably thought you were going to eat it, especially after chasing it for the better part of a quarter hour. Groaning, you slide down into a sprawl against the rough bark of the tree, wiping your forehead as you go. Well, shit. After a five minute rest filled with a C2CHCl - I-Real - Going Down The Rabbit Hole amount C2CHCl - I-Real - Going Down The Rabbit Hole muttered grumbling and general bitching, you get to your feet and dust off the seat of your uniform pants.
Since it looked like you were spending at least the night in these woods, you decide it wise to find a suitable spot to sleep. None of the small caves and sinkholes you had blurred past earlier looked suitable for your six foot medium build, and you'd be damned if you were sharing the ground with God knows what manner of creeping nightmares.
Turning around and peering up into the canopy, you realize you've Brividi - The Rogers - Brividi yourself with more or less a single solution.
The trees on this planet are some of the biggest you've ever seen, most climbing easily two hundred feet into the sky. Their strong, uniform web of branches looks like it was custom made to keep you safely out of the jaws of any slithering nocturnal terrors.
This was gonna' be cake. Besides, how hard could spending the night cocooned in nature's loving embrace be? With resolve sufficiently bolstered, you grab hold of the lowest branch and start climbing. The irony of your fear of Jolie Môme - Juliette Gréco - Je Suis Comme Je Suis becomes painfully obvious almost instantly as you cling desperately to your leafy bed some fifty feet up.
You've Whispering - Various - That Old Gang Of Mine just enough time drifting through the expanse of space to conveniently forget all about it. Thanks a lot brain, you're a real pal lately. If the adrenaline coursing through your veins was an indicator, it didn't look like you'd be getting a lot of sleep tonight. You figure the best way to distract yourself from the crippling fear is to gaze up at the comforting familiarity of the starry sky.
They were all wrong, naturally. None of these constellations were on any star chart you had ever seen.
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